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Sunday, Sep 19, 2021

Hong Kong firmly focused on road map to zero emissions goal

Hong Kong firmly focused on road map to zero emissions goal

The government is fully aware of various implications of popularising electric vehicles, and is formulating targeted solutions.

I refer to the letter from Alison Ng (“Practical suggestions to help realise Hong Kong’s plan of becoming electric vehicle city”) published on July 12.

The Hong Kong government has been sparing no efforts to promote the use of electric vehicles (EVs) and, in March this year, announced the “Hong Kong Roadmap on Popularisation of Electric Vehicles”, setting out long-term policy objectives as well as plans to push ahead with the popularisation of EVs towards the goal of zero vehicular emissions before 2050.

The key measures include ceasing the new registration of fuel-propelled private cars in 2035 or earlier, promoting trials for electric public transport and commercial vehicles, expanding the EV charging network and promoting its marketisation, training EV technical and maintenance practitioners, and formulating a “producer responsibility scheme” for retired EV batteries.

The EV adoption in Hong Kong compares well with other economies. Our current incentives such as the tax concession under the one-for-one replacement scheme and lower annual vehicle licence fee for electric private cars are attractive. During the first half of 2021, more than one out of six of newly registered private cars in Hong Kong were electric, compared with one out of 16 in 2019.

We have not lost sight of electric public transport and commercial vehicles, despite the challenge of the demanding local operating environment.

We have been proactively promoting trials of these vehicles with a view to setting a more concrete way forward and timetable around 2025: HK$300 million has been allocated for trying out electric single-deck buses, public light buses and taxis, and the HK$1.1 billion New Energy Transport Fund is subsidising trials for other types of EVs such as electric double-decker buses and goods vehicles.

We are fully aware of the rising demand for EV repair and maintenance in light of wider EV adoption and have been working closely with local institutions and the EV trade on the provision of additional training, retraining, as well as education opportunities.

We will review and update the “roadmap” around every five years to keep abreast of the latest EV developments for an early move towards the target of zero vehicular emissions.

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